The discussion on combining email with video normally focuses on how to play clips directly in newsletters. However, haven’t you ever wondered how you could use your video clips to build lists or capture leads more effectively? I just stumbled about “Wistia”. It seems to be a nice service for that purpose. They also offer a freemium plan: Upload up to three videos and use (most of) the features for free – forever. I couldn’t resist trying it…
First, I shot a little dummy video with my cam. The result was compressed using Avidemux, and then uploaded to Wistia. Using their “SuperEmbed Builder”, I added a subscribe call-to-action at the end of the video playback:
This feature, the signup link at the end, in itself is already cool. Note that it doesn’t compare to YouTube. YouTube won’t offer your any (external) linking. The only exceptions are links to some fundraising sites and very few approved premium advertisers. For most of us, this means that you cannot direct a viewer to your sign-up form from within a YouTube video.
(As a side note: There are hacks available like e.g. LinkedTube.com, Viewbix.com, EmbedPlus.com, or Bubbleply.com. Those would allow you to add affiliate links as well as other things. However, I doubt that YouTube will continue to tolerate or even approve “money making on their costs” in the long run. Thus, one would risk to get banned from the platform.)
But there is more to Wistia. Again, using the Embed Builder, I now checked the “require email to play” box:
(I will not use your email address unless you submit it officially into the signup form. However, Wistia stores it.)
They call this feature Turnstile – the pre-roll email collector. As you can see, it’s a powerful subscribe-to-play mechanism that could help building lists, too. One would need some video content, which is compelling enough. But that’s another story.
Besides the email-gate, there is another way to identify viewers by their email address: Wistia offers integrations with some email service providers. Those integrations let you e.g. automatically pull still images into your email campaigns and tag video hyperlinks with the recipients email addresses. The Wistia video on the landing page then processes those email addresses in the background and records the user interactions.
The platform profiles email addresses rather deeply by video usage. The “viewer stream” reporting e.g. shows some interesting heatmap overviews. They reveal, how viewers interacted with single videos on an individual level.
Here is a test screenshot (mouse out and mouse over):
For an explanation, the heatmap tool tip says:
Green indicates the video was watched once, yellow, orange, and red indicates the video section was re-watched, an empty section indicates the part of the video that was skipped. Attached to every heatmap you’ll find the name, IP address, and domain where the video was watched. If this viewer has watched multiple videos hosted in your Wistia account, you will see that count as well.
One can also export any of those interactional data – including email addresses – by downloading a CSV file, or by accessing the Wistia-API.
Overall, I must admit that I fail to see the value of tossing around email addresses over the web like this. Would an anonymous fingerprint not be sufficient? Or is it really useful to analyze, if my neighbor (or any other subscriber) watched 0%, 50%, or 100% of a video? Some might value that kind of detective work. (And large video marketing senders could – in theory – build segments. But anyway…) Besides that, capturing leads via a video email-gate seems indeed very interesting. That is especially the case when it can be added with just a mouse click. This is where Wistia shines. Try it out… http://wistia.com.